what a way to start

SPECTANALYST is a series of intimate, transformational portraits created and acted by Christopher Simpson. A host of unique characters reveal themselves in absorbing, delicate encounters that give audiences a privileged position as a spectator and psychoanalyst privy to otherwise unheard utterances shared in deeply private sessions of therapy.

Here you are, the SPECTANALYST, invited to accompany, or implored to companion, a host of characters, charactors, here speaking truth and untruth, wittingly and unwittingly, apparently for you, an interlocutor assumed, presumed, supposed-to-know what resides within screaming or silent symptoms. Here we have characters as symptoms seeking a hearing, seeking to speak, and we hope you enjoy your position, in all its ambivalence, as a spectator psychoanalyst.

In the age of the confessional, when accomplishing intimacy with others remains elusive and we privilege the performance of ourselves beyond being with ourselves, we have all become implicated as spectators of, or indeed for, others longing for an audience.

We may ask for whom a given performance of self is intended, to whom a given account is addressed explicitly and implicitly. We may wonder what is it that calls to be seen within what is seen and heard within what is heard. We may wonder if we can distinguish between what is said, who is saying it and to whom it is being said. Implicated as we are in the perpetual instances of selves seeking mirrors, mirrors of ourselves, hearers of our selves, we may seek to engage psychoanalytic perspectives as spectators reading unbidden, unconscious communication.

Heart-rending, surprising and human, SPECTANALYST explores what it might mean to accomplish change through acts of speech, what it is to be heard in a way that alters a person’s compassionate relation with themselves through acts of attentive witness.

Each film stands alone accumulating as a collection to reflect a constellation of emotional intimacies and the possibilities of transformation. Errol, Alberto, Francoise, Mikey and others all speak differently of the problems that brought them to therapy-some tragic, some comic-but they are all united in seeking change.

If the content of the project centres around contrasting individuals seeking change, the form is a striking tour de force in which Christopher Simpson transforms, embodying a multiplicity of vivid characters and the specificity of their inner worlds.

The first film, ERROL WATKIN: I’m just beginning to say something… is an emotionally visceral, lucid and compelling portrait of an extraordinary man in eloquent distress. In a charged encounter with his psychoanalyst, Errol speaks of irredeemable loss and longing. If he senses himself dead in life he is alive in his words. What can words alter in the full assumption of distress? In Errol’s words, ‘I ain’t no body waiting for a surgeon. I’m a soul with a hole.’

We hope that you will enjoy meeting the characters and return again to view each new film as the sequence unfolds.

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